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A SustainABLE Pace

It’s a beast.  It’s a “grown folks” race. It’s rough.  It’s all the way around the track.  It ain’t no joke.

These are just a few of the phrases used to describe the 400meter race in Track and Field, and I agree with all of them.  More importantly, my 13 year old son Darius (Big D), agrees as well – this weekend he competed in the event at the 2013 USATF Junior Olympic Regionals – not bad for his first year running the event.

Did he win? – No

Did he place? – No

Did he finish? – Yes

Was he disappointed? – Sure

Did he learn some lessons? – No doubt

Here’s one lesson worth sharing with all of us: Run Your Race to Sustain Your Pace.

The runners that excel at the 400 have identified and mastered a sustainABLE pace.  They start strong, they stay strong, and they finish strong.  They know they can’t expend all of their energy in the first 200 or 300 meters because then they’ll have nothing to finish the last 100 meters with.  They come out in a burst of speed, they settle in to their “zone” and then they keep a “little something” in their tank so they have that extra gear to kick in when they need it.

Runners that haven’t identified and mastered a sustainABLE pace come out as fast as they can and continue to run as fast as they can, running at one speed (as fast as they can), and usually around the 200 meter mark you can see them visibly  begin to slow down – their mind is saying “run, keep moving”, but their body is saying, “I have nothing left to give you.” As they slow down, you see all the runners pass them by on their way to the finish line. Their pace wasn’t sustainABLE.

Let’s all remember this lesson as we start our day and our week.  Is our pace sustainABLE?  Do we start out strong and energetic, but lose energy and focus before the end of the day.  Remember the goal isn’t to just finish your day, finish your project, or finish the week.  The goal is to finish strong.  Check your pace.  Are you trying to do too much, too soon?  How long can you sustain this pace?  Just like the track athletes, you have to “run your race” – just because someone else can go at a certain pace, doesn’t mean you can or you should. Start your day with a burst, settle in to your zone, and kick in the extra gear when you need it.  Start Strong, Stay Strong, Finish Strong.

Have a great day – see you at the finish line.

Thanks Big D, for giving me permission to share your story.  Daddy’s proud of you.

Oh, by the way, will he be back? – Absolutely!!!!

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